April 2, 2015 - Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention


Open to the general public.


10:00 am to 1:00 pm


Moraine Valley Community College
9000 College Parkway, Building M
Palos Hills, Illinois


  1. Introduction of Council Members
  2. Approval of January 8, 2015 Draft Meeting Report
  3. Service Delivery Approaches Workgroup
  4. State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) Update
  5. IFSP Workgroup Update
  6. Update on hiring Bureau Chief
  7. Update on Budget
  8.  Adjournment

Meeting Report


  • J. Diane Adams-Alsberry, CALM, Inc.
  • Karen Berman, IL Early Learning Council Designee
  • Bob Cammarata, ICG Health Care Services
  • Gerri Clark, Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC)
  • Brenda Devito, CFC #6 Manager
  • Margaret Harkness, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Deanna Pratscher, parent, Thornton
  • Kathy Schrock, Easter Seals DuPage and Fox Valley
  • Ann Freiburg, Division of Family and Community Services
  • Angel Williams, Department of Child and Family Services
  • Constance Williams, PhD, DHS/Division of Mental Health
  • Amy Zimmerman, Health & Disabilities Advocates


  • Julie Doetsch, IL Dept of Healthcare and Family Services
  • Sheila McCurley, IL Department of Public Health
  • Beatrice Nichols, IICEI Chairperson, Head Start
  • Mary Petersen, Department of Insurance
  • Pam Reising-Rechner, IL State Board of Education
  • Gina Ruther, DHS, Bureau of Child Care and Development
  • Connie Sims, DHS, Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • Therese Wehman, Elmhurst College
  • Susan Tromley, IL Department of Children and Family Services

Contents of Council Packet

  • Agenda
  • Draft Council Report - January 8, 2015 Meeting
  • Final draft SSIP

Call to Order

The Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention (IICEI) was convened by Bob Cammarata at 10:01 a.m.

Introduction of Council Members

Council members introduced themselves. Bob reminded people about the importance of the Week of the Young Child which begins April 12, 2015.

Approval of January 8,2015 Meeting Report

Brenda Devito moved for approval of the January report. Kathy Schrock seconded the motion. Meeting report was approved. J. Diane Adams-Alsberry asked if the Emergency Meeting minutes were officially approved. The response is that they were and they can be found on the DHS EI website. The current Council Packet included minutes from the last regularly scheduled meeting.

SDA Workgroup Update

Chelsea Guillen shared that the group is finalizing recommendations and preparing the final report for the Council. Transition recommendations need to be finalized and timelines need to be assigned. While the workgroup did not meet the April deadline, she is confident that there will be a report ready for the July Council meeting. Kathy asked if the report will be provided prior to the meeting so that discussion can occur in the context of the meeting. Chelsea shared that efforts will be made to get the Bureau the required information in time for sharing in the next Council packet.

SSIP Update

Chelsea Guillen shared that most of the work that has occurred since the last Council meeting has been related to the coherent improvement strategies and the theory of action. The SSIP also had to be written and submitted. We are able to report that the finalized report was submitted yesterday, meeting the deadline. Ann reminded Council members that we will receive feedback from OSEP on both the APR and SSIP submissions. Karen Berman brought up how nicely the SSIP work may overlap with efforts of the Office of Early Childhood within the Governor's office. Karen asked if there might be opportunities for greater sharing of information across early childhood systems like other home visiting programs. Ann stated that there may be opportunities for these kinds of discussions during future Phases of the SSIP. Ann felt that approval of SSIP from OSEP is needed before next steps can be determined, but she recognized that the Bureau desires to streamline efforts and align initiatives to the maximum extent possible. Amy Zimmerman announced that she and Karen Berman have worked with ISBE to notify districts that screening can occur more frequently than annually.

Farewell from Ted Burke/EITP Update

Ted will be leaving Illinois as he accepted a position as the new Director of Programs for Easter Seals in Hawaii. Ted recounted some of the challenges and benefits he has experienced in his work in Illinois early intervention system. He is grateful to have had the opportunity to work with so many of the people in the room. EITP has benefitted from the partnership at U of I and looks forward to continuing collaboration with everyone in the room. Winter webinar series had over 2000 attendees. Postcard available for people to obtain the QR code for the completed childcare video. Director's position should be finalized by the end of the week- offer has been made, but paperwork still needs to be finalized before an official announcement can occur. Ann Freiburg presented Ted with a certificate of appreciation for his service in the EI program.

IFSP Workgroup Update

Tahney provided an update on the work of the IFSP workgroup. We are working towards having a fully electronic version of the Plan. She is hoping to share the draft with Managers at the next CFC Managers meeting. After the Plan is approved, the information will be shared with Cornerstone to incorporate into the system. Ideally, the information will be to Cornerstone by this July and implemented by next July. Cornerstone, though, is being moved from an outside contract to an internal agency so the changing positions may hold up progress. To the degree possible, we have incorporated tracking pieces requested by various stakeholders, e.g. service delays, child welfare, and housing status. The plan is to have service delay information automated. Amy Zimmerman asked about the timing of the automated Plan.

Ann stated that this is hard to predict since Cornerstone is currently being moved into CMS and experiencing numerous staff transitions. Cornerstone will be responsive to the degree that they can be given the constraints and pressures presented by other program needs. Amy asked if all information on the IFSP will be in a trackable format. Tahney mentioned that there will different types of information in the system, some of which will be tracked. Amy asked that the Council members have a chance to review the document before it is finalized. Kathy Schrock asked if other workgroups concerns/feedbacks have been considered in the development. Tahney shared that Chelsea has provided feedback reflective of the other workgroups she participates in. Tahney also shared that the workgroup has recommended that the Intake and Social History Summary Form be put into Cornerstone.

Karen asked for clarification about future data sharing for EI referrals, specifically, will we be able to see whether or not children who were ineligible for EI ended up in another program? Ann said that EI is not yet part of that data sharing agreement due to consent issues/concerns, but some efforts are underway. We can track some information now based on case closure codes. Karen shared that home visiting programs are interested in finding children who are not eligible for EI in case they may be eligible for their programs. Bob asked where home visiting programs are housed. Ann replied that they are in a variety of agencies, including DHS, DPH, and ISBE. Brenda stated that CFCs can struggle with knowing about the HV programs in their area and making appropriate referrals given the range of factors that may impact program eligibility. Amy asked about our ability to track referral sources. Ann explained that the information is currently entered but other programs can overwrite the information. They will make a request for this information to be moved to an EI specific screen so that it can only be changed by EI personnel. Ann emphasized that data quality will be an ongoing focus for many reasons, but especially because of SSIP efforts.

Update on Bureau staffing

No movement yet on Bureau Chief. Public Service Administrator position formerly filled by Eileen will now be filled by Claudia Fabian who starts on April 16th. Tahney Fletcher, our current data manager, will be moving into the Executive 2 position under Claudia assisting with contracts and reporting functions, hopefully by April 16th. Data manager will need to be hired. Completed interviews for Accountant. Hoping to have that one filled soon. Brenda asked about a timeline for Bureau Chief position to be filled. Ann said that she has no idea when that will be done as it is difficult to predict the state's hiring process.

Update on Budget

Ann said that the $12 million supplemental has been approved. No new information is yet available on the state's budget. EI has not even received any information about proposed 2.25% cut to all programs that was announced to help address childcare shortfall. Karen asked if Bureau is prepared to absorb this cut since school districts have already begun planning. Amy said that she thought the 2.25% applied to our supplemental request.


Ann announced that the monitoring contract has been awarded and finalized with the VanderWeele group. Amy asked if the monitoring process will be changed. Ann said that we are hoping that there will be aspects of monitoring changing in the future. Kathy asked if there would be more of a focus on quality, not just compliance. Ann said that may be a possibility but that our first responsibility is fulfilling federal regulations. Bob asked when new monitoring begins. Ann does not yet have a firm date, but the process is underway. VanderWeele just received their contract yesterday. Kathy asked for more information about the vendor. Ann shared that they currently do some monitoring for Part B. Brenda asked about timing of changes to monitoring process. In the short term, it will look more like it has historically, with similar forms and procedures, but eventually the vendor will be seeking input regarding improvements.

Amy thanked Ann for the Bureau's quick response to the request for an Emergency Meeting and information about eligibility. Recent information requests have been addressed by Communications. Amy said that her current information is that the Administration is recommending the change in eligibility levels for newly referred children while current children would be grandfathered in under current requirements. Amy testified at full budget appropriations committee meeting yesterday and is wondering if alternatives to the change in eligibility are being explored. Ann reported that no new information has been requested from, or provided to, the Bureau at this time but that she will need to follow the Department's direction. Bureau's efforts have recently been focused on completing the SSIP and will now shift to completing state's federal application. Karen said that Council is poised to support advocacy efforts but needs information which they cannot access without Bureau assistance, e.g. GRF amounts, CFC allocations, etc. Ann has been permitted to share FY14 information as that is our last completed year. Everything is paid out of 502 Revolving Fund which collects money from a variety of sources. $35 million spent for administrative contracts; $117.6 million on direct services; $4.6 million on operations-staffing/rent/telephone; $156,000 in refunds for a total of $157.7 million in expenditures for EI program last year. Received proposed allocation for federal Part C for IL is down a couple hundred thousand dollars due to a decrease in our state's birth to three population. Amy asked about getting figures for the money collected through family fees and how much is spent on evaluations. Amy also asked about whether or not the Bureau has revisited some of the fiscal recommendations that came from the fiscal workgroup on the EI Taskforce. Ann feels that any eligibility changes would not occur prior to July 1, 2015.

Kathy asked if legislators have been identified who are sympathetic to our concerns. Amy and Karen feel that there are some who are listening, but they are also recognizing the dire situation of the state's finances. Advocacy must be informed, ongoing, and focused on revenue raising as an alternative to program cuts. Over 2,000 letters have been generated for EI through the Ounce's find your legislator page. Legislators need to hear from the EI community while they are back in their offices. Kathy asked who the legislative leaders are right now. Amy is not sure of this, but says that "defenders" are more important at this point because the change in eligibility cannot occur if a bill is not introduced and passed. Karen reiterated that legislators need to be aware of their constituents' concerns so that they understand the repercussions of the change. Amy said that a primary misconception is that if the program is cut, children will still be able to get these services through insurance or Medicaid. Kathy also asked about what we might learn from other states that have changed eligibility in terms of program savings, and then later programs' increased expenses. Karen discussed some of the challenges in getting this information. Margaret Harkness shared some of the strategies that have worked well across the range of services for people with disabilities, primarily the concept of "rebalancing"- using the dollars available in the best manner possible for improving outcomes.

Amy announced that people may be interested in participating in an Advocacy day on April 28th in Springfield.


The meeting adjourned at 12:19 p.m. Motion to adjourn by Bob, seconded by Kathy. Everyone approved.

Contact Information

Jenni Grissom
IDHS - Bureau of Early Intervention
823 East Monroe
Springfield, IL 62701

Ph: 217/524-1596

email: jennifer.grissom@illinois.gov